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Kadimastem is Granted a Patent in Australia for Diabetes TreatmentMay. 1, 2016
Ness Ziona, Israel, May 1, 2016, Israeli biotechnology company Kadimastem (TASE: KDST) announces it was granted a patent from the Australian Patent Office for its technology in the field of diabetes treatment.
The patent is for a method of producing insulin-producing cells from embryonic stem cells, and it is likely to constitute the foundation for the company’s products in the field of stem-cell based treatment of diabetes.
Kadimastem is working to develop innovative treatments for diabetes through transplantation of insulin-secreting cells which were differentiated from human stem cells.
In Australia, there are around 1.7 million diabetes patients, and the annual cost of treatment of these patients is estimated at US$11.1 billion, a large expense relative to a population of 24 million people. In addition, the Australian biotech industry is very developed and it's one of the leading countries in the field of cell therapy. The approval of the patent in Australia and the capabilities there in cell therapy open up future production and marketing possibilities in Australia for the company.
The approval of the patent in Australia follows the approval of the patent by the Japanese Patent Office, as the company reported around two weeks ago. Japan has strategic importance in the field of stem cell therapy, as Japan is one of the most significant countries globally in its advancement of innovation and products in the cell-based therapy field. As the company reported, in November 2014, the Japanese parliament enacted a law, designed to facilitate clinical trials in the regenerative medicine field, in order to expedite the approval of cell-based treatments and to bring them quickly to market. According to the Japanese law, cell-based treatments will receive a conditional, time-limited approval for marketing upon proof of safety and a signal of efficacy (clinical phase I/IIa). Thereby, a successful clinical phase I/IIa will enable the commercialization of the product and shorten the development of the drug. South Korea also has enacted regulatory facilitations.
Receipt of the patent in Australia and Japan and the regulatory facilitations for cell therapy in Japan and South Korea open significant opportunities for the company in the Asia Pacific region, both for the product for the treatment of diabetes and for the product for the treatment of ALS.
Yossi Ben Yossef, Kadimastem's CEO, noted: "We are happy about the grant of the patent in Australia and the strengthening of our intellectual property in an additional significant market. Australia is an important member of the developed economies, and particularly of the Asia Pacific countries, and receipt of the patent will enable us future activity in the region. The Pacific Rim market is a large and substantial market for the company's future products."
Professor Michel Revel, the company's Chief Scientist, noted: "This is an additional recognition of Kadimastem's technology for differentiating human stem cells into cells similar to those in the pancreas responsible for maintaining the level of sugar in the blood. The transplantation of these cells will be able to replace daily insulin injections for insulin-dependent diabetes patients."
Kadimastem is a biotechnology company, operating in the field of regenerative medicine – a groundbreaking field in which the malfunctioning of organs which leads to diseases is repaired by external cells, tissues or organs. The company specializes in the development of human stem cell-based medical solutions for the treatment of diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases, such as ALS and Multiple Sclerosis. The company was founded in August 2009 by Professor Michel Revel and Yossi Ben Yossef, and is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE: KDST). Kadimastem employs 34 people, of which 12 are PhDs, and its 1,700m2 offices and labs are located in the Ness Ziona Science Park.
Kadimastem was founded based on patent protected technology that was developed at the Weizmann Institute of Science, in Prof. Michel Revel’s laboratory. Prof. Revel, who serves as the company's Chief Scientist and director, developed Merck KGaA's blockbuster drug, Rebif® for the treatment of MS (sales of around $2.4 billion sales in 2014).
Based on the company's unique platform, Kadimastem is developing two types of medical applications: A. Regenerative medicine, which repairs and replaces organs and tissue by using functioning cells differentiated from stem cells. The company focuses on transplanting healthy brain cells to support the survivability of nerve cells as cell therapy for ALS, and transplanting insulin-secreting pancreatic cells for the treatment of insulin-dependent diabetes; B. Drug screening platforms, which use functional human cells and tissues to discover new medicinal drugs. The company has two collaboration agreements with leading global pharmaceutical companies.
The company is headed by Yossi Ben-Yossef, an entrepreneur with extensive experience in life sciences companies. The company's chairman is Dr. Eli Opper, formerly the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Labor and Trade, and its investors include Altshuler Shaham Investment House, foreign investors (Julien Ruggieri and Avi Meizler), and the company's founders.
Kadimastem has an extensive scientific advisory board, featuring prominent scientists and pioneers: in the embryonic stem cells field, Professor Benjamin Reubinoff, Director of the Hadassah Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Center and Senior Physician at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hadassah University Medical Center and Professor Joseph Itskovich, world renowned expert and pioneer in pluripotent stem cell research and former head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Rambam Medical Center; in the neurodegenerative disease field, Professor Tamir Ben-Hur, Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Hadassah University Medical Center; and in the diabetes field, Professor Shimon Efrat, professor of Human Molecular Genetics and Juvenile Diabetes at Tel Aviv University and a world renowned expert in cell replacement therapy for diabetes and Professor Eddy Karnieli, past Director of the Institute for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the Rambam Medical Center, and a world renowned expert in these fields.
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